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Can’t get my first job for two years

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Active Member
Shaha S Member Since: Apr 27, 2019
11 of 18
Thanks for your teply, Tonya.

I thought about it, and I didn’t bid for the first few proposals, and I was somehow sure I would get those projects or at least one of them. I didn’t, and I thought of applying to easier jobs.
Again, I was sure I would get hired, since I have a professional experience, offered a good price and would complete that project in 1 day. Still no results.
I can’t even understand what could possible be wrong.
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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
12 of 18

Bonya S wrote:

I thought about it, and I didn’t bid for the first few proposals, and I was somehow sure I would get those projects or at least one of them. I didn’t, and I thought of applying to easier jobs.
Again, I was sure I would get hired, since I have a professional experience, offered a good price and would complete that project in 1 day. Still no results.

Don't bid too low. Lots and lots of clients will discount everyone who bids significantly under the budget.

Experiment with bidding around (Never exactly) on the budget, slightly below or even slightly above.

 

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Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
13 of 18

My suggestion was also to bid higher.  I just got a smallish job that was a couple of hours and I bid nearly 3 times the suggested amount by the client.  I got the job, and ended up finishing it faster than I thought so I acutally charged a bit less.  But all that is to say that clients rarely know what they want or need or how much it will cost. If there are lot of successful freelancers bidding at 3 or 4 times what you are bidding, then then a good client is probably interviewing the second or third highest bidder for your kind of work.  Never bid less unless you really think it will take less time than the client is expecting.  You are the expert and you know what how to bid out the job better than the client usually.

 

Also, just like clients, you can say that you don't really know how much the job will cost because you don't have all the information but then you can give them examples of types of jobs you done and how much they cost.  For example, I might say, that a typical 15-25 question survey costs $XX.  But that depends on how much logic is in the survey and how much research is required for the questions/answers.  Think of the proposal more as a way to earn the client's trust and get them to start talking to you.  Not as an end to the negotiation.  You might even give a very minor suggestion to the client based on the job, ex. I typically use this platform, but in your case we could use probably that platform because it will meet your needs and is cheaper...or whatever. 

 

Good luck.

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Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
14 of 18

There are many different ways to obtain freelance work, and if you've been here for a year with no success, perhaps it's time to turn your focus elsewhere? I honestly don't mean this in a nasty way! Personally, I don't rely exclusively on Upwork to obtain new clients - I ask friends and past clients for referrals, I use social media, I check in with former clients regularly to see if they need anything else, I've taken out a few ads, I go to networking events, etc. etc. Even with my past experience on Upwork, I read through probably 500+ RFPs per month, and of those, I only bid on 20-30, and of those 20-30 bids, I get maybe 5-6 jobs. I mean, it's nice to think that you could just sit at your desk for half an hour a day posting a few proposals and the work will roll in, but that's just not the reality for the majority of people who want to be freelancers - you have to hustle.

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Shaha S Member Since: Apr 27, 2019
15 of 18
Thanks, Christine.

I was not much active here for the past year but for the past few weeks I’ve been actively applying for jobs with no results. I will try to work on my proposals and stuff and probably try other places too.
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Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
16 of 18

Well, if you've only been actively trying for a few weeks, then definitely give it a bit longer. It's not unusual to go for a few weeks with no results, even for successful freelancers (things can get especially slow around holidays like Easter as well). 

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Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
17 of 18

If you haven't freelanced before, it involves a bit of a paradigm shift in terms of promoting yourself. It's different from applying for an employment position in that it's very project-driven. Especially here, where your profile serves as your resume & credentials and is immediately available to the client. As others have suggested, learn to use the cover letter to snag the client's interest and get them to engage with you, then don't hesitate to ask questions. That (1) demonstrates you know what you're doing, and (2) enables you to capture enough specific information to actually scope the job and provide a solid price quote and schedule.

 

I came here with 20 years of freelance experience and it still took a solid month to land my first small project and another month to land my second. It's a long game. Good luck!

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Community Leader
Julie J Member Since: Jan 28, 2019
18 of 18

Everyone has such great advice. One thing that helped me was checking my connects history and seeing who was hired on the jobs I bid on. How much was the winning bid? Most times it wasn't the lowest.

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